Skip to main content

8th March 2016

International Alcohol Etiquette: Breaking down the barriers of communication

A brief guide on the essential phrases you will need when travelling to order some booze and drinking with anyone, anywhere

Learning a new language can be time consuming, and communicating with the locals when travelling is often difficult to master. For this reason, we have constructed a brief international guide to the most essential phrases you will need to get served anywhere on the planet!


First: How to order a beer.

To enjoy a pint in Germany, ask for “Ein Bier, bitte!” The French request is, “Une bière, s’il vous plait”, whilst Italians stylishly utter “Una birra, per favore!”

In Spanish, “Una cerveza por favor” will get you a beer. However, if you’re up for the challenge, it’s recommended that you take the time to learn some of the many regional adjustments.

For example, in Catalan: “Una cervesa, si us plau!” And in the Basque region of Bilbao and San Sebastián, you will need to ask for a “Garagardo bat, mesedez!”

For a cold one in Sweden, “En öl, tack”. In Prague, “Pivo, Prosim”.

In China, you can only try to pronounce “Ching gay woh ee bay pee joh!”

And for Beers in Brazil and Portugal, try “Uma cerveja, por favor!”


To say cheers, running through the following phrases should eventually see you stumble upon the right words:

Poland and Russia:”Nazdrovya”
Sweden: “Skol”
Germany: “Prost”
Spain: “Salud”
Italy: “Salute”
France: “à votre santé”.


Whilst commonly known as simply just beer, or similar words such as “Bier” (Germany), “Biere” (France), or “Birra” (Italy), more unusual names include:

“Cerveza” in Spain, but “Garagardoa” in the Basque region. “Cervesa” in Catalonia, and “Cervexa” in Galicia. “Una Pinta” can also be requested.

“Une Mousse” or “Une binouze” in France. “Bironga” in Mexico and “Pi Jiu” in Mandarin. In Eastern Europe, the Baltics and Russia, it is called “Pivo” or “Piva”, and in Scandinavia, ask for an “öl.”


More Coverage

Did you know that there’s a spa under Simon Building

Rumour has it that deep in the depths of UoM lies a hidden spa. Why? We cannot say. But should you embark on an adventure to find it? Absolutely.

Three years at university: What have I learnt?

As the academic year draws to a close, here are some of the more unexpected lessons I have learnt from three years at Manchester University

How do we tackle the student loneliness crisis?

At a university where 45,000 students cross paths every day, it should be impossible to feel lonely

Keeping on top of the news cycle: How to stay up to date as a student

Being a student can mean an incredibly busy schedule, so how can you make time to find out what’s happening in the world?